Book Review – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk


by Ben Fountain (Canongate) ISBN: 9781782118282

Ben Fountain’s literary debut follows the homecoming of US soldier Billy Lynn and his squad from Iraqi. Following just a few hours of the soldiers’ Victory Tour in Texas, it offers a slice of American life and the country’s relationship to war.

A satire in the Catch-22 mould, it still manages to paint a portrait of a hero in a realistic and uplifting way. The American culture of power and high rollers is pulled part. The stark contrast between what a soldier on duty experiences and what the public is shown is sharply drawn. But the patriotism isn’t destroyed.

The award-winning novel has been turned into a feature film with Ang Lee as director and young Brit actor Joe Alwyn in the title role. As a film tie-in, it’s a good idea to read the book before it hits the big screen.

Anthony Ehlers
3/5

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